Notes: Roster moves; Kim to Cards' rotation

August 5th, 2020

ST. LOUIS -- On their first day back at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, the Cardinals recalled pitchers and Génesis Cabrera from the alternate training site in Springfield, Mo., and purchased the contracts of pitcher and infielder to boost their roster after seven players tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Additionally, was placed on the injured list, and catcher was added to the Cardinals' taxi squad. Ravelo was one of the six players who announced Tuesday that he tested positive, and he joins those players plus right-hander on the injured list.

With the addition of , who was taken off the 10-day injured list Monday, the moves bring the Cardinals’ active roster to 28 players. Every team’s roster will shrink to 28 from 30 on Thursday, and the Cards are scheduled to resume play against the Cubs on Friday at Busch Stadium.

Reyes and Cabrera were ramping up in Springfield because positive COVID-19 tests delayed their entrance into Summer Camp in July. Both had been throwing the ball well and have recovered well, according to the team’s reports. Both threw bullpens Tuesday, so they’ll be ready for Friday’s game, if needed. The two will have bullpen roles for the Cardinals along with Ramirez, replacing Martínez, and Junior Fernández on the pitching staff.

Schrock will provide infield depth with , and Ravelo sidelined. The Cardinals were hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak in the pitching and infield departments, lessening a need for outfielder and top prospect Dylan Carlson. St. Louis used its open spots to fill the gaps caused by the outbreak, but Carlson could still make his debut as the season continues.

“We’re comfortable and confident about what Dylan can do,” manager Mike Shildt said. “The fact of the matter is, there’s not a need for Dylan at the moment. But there’s nothing Dylan needs to do except go play and stay sharp. … This guy can play in the field, could DH. We’ve got the club we’ve got. If he gets the opportunity, I would imagine we expect him to be able to get up to play pretty consistently.”

Kim to rotation
Lefty Kwang Hyun Kim will move to the rotation and fill Martínez’s spot, Shildt said Wednesday. Despite being built up as a starter in Spring Training and Summer Camp, Kim was the Cardinals' closer for the first week of the season to make room for Martínez as a starter. Now the Cards will have a lefty in a right-handed-heavy rotation.

The Cardinals' rotation now sets up like this: , , , Kim and , who was moved to the rotation after went on the 10-day injured list with a torn flexor tendon. Kim didn’t take over Mikolas’ spot last week because Shildt didn’t want to disrupt the bullpen too much.

“Clearly we’re short another guy,” Shildt said. “But [we] have another opportunity in the starting rotation and [can] take advantage of the pause we’ve had and get him back into the rotation and be able to help stabilize it.”

St. Louis has a variety of options to take over the ninth, led by and .

“Hels has been good, [] has been good, [ has] been good, Gio was effective his time out and has experience,” Shildt said. “I think you look at being able to match up towards the end of the games that make the most sense to bring it home.”

New-look lineup
With DeJong and catcher on the injured list, the Cardinals will have two big holes to fill on the field and at the plate. Look for to take over as the starting catcher and to take over as the starting shortstop, with Miller as a backup. Miller and can also rotate between third base and the designated hitter spot in the lineup.

The Cardinals will have to rearrange their lineup to find a new cleanup hitter, and Shildt said Wednesday that left fielder is a candidate to take over that spot along with a few others.

Of course, the Cardinals could always add to their roster. Shildt said that Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith texted Willie McGee the other day and said he’s got a couple of innings left in him. Shildt mused about where he’d hit Smith, 65, and quipped that it wouldn’t be too far down the lineup.

“I’d be curious to know if he’d use our card for positioning or not,” Shildt said. “He’d probably feel pretty good about his own positioning.”